I stand in the dark house, looking out. Keeping the house dark so that Louise wouldn’t know I was home.
I pitied her in a twisted way. Her, and all those who married their love and lived with him until he died.
It is so odd to feel this way, to feel lucky. To feel blessed that I never loved Patrick and his death did not end my life.
We are raised to believe in, to desire that love, that complete and abiding fulfilling love, as if we’ll live forever.
We are never cautioned not to give our souls, never cautioned to hold back, to limit our attachment to that one person, and fill our lives with dozens of other people.
So when that one person dies, we die. Our life ends.
Louise told me how she would start to fix her husband’s favourite meal, and call to him, then realise he was dead. She’d turn on the television because he liked to watch a specific show, call his name, then realise he was dead.
She didn’t remember what she liked, what she wanted. She didn’t speak of I or me. It was us or it was we, but it never was ‘me’.
I will never know that horrific loss.
Across the street is Louise; a widow, but not like me. A widow who had loved her husband, lost him, and is an empty shell.
And here am I, in this empty shell of a house, planning on selling it, taking the money, and going away. Just me.